Dwarf Gourami Care, Tank Mates, Lifespan & More

Dwarf Gourami are one of the most popular freshwater fishes out there. They look fantastic and do a great job of bringing a splash of color into your aquarium.

Not only are they beautiful fish, but Dwarf Gourami are also very easy to keep and won’t require a lot of work on your end when it comes to taking care of them.

Because of this combination, these fish are going to remain a staple of the freshwater aquarium community for quite some time. 

That’s why putting together a Dwarf Gourami care guide was one of the first on our list when it comes to adding more information about freshwater fish to the site.

We hope you enjoy it!

Breed Overview

The Dwarf Gourami, scientifically known as the Trichogaster Ialius, is a colorful breed of freshwater fish that is part of the Gourami family.

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Dwarf gourami swimming in a tank

They are shy and easygoing and won’t make trouble with other fish in your tank. However, they do choose to stay together since they are schooling fish.

Dwarf Gourami are labyrinth fish which means they have to get their oxygen from the surface. They have an organ that is very similar to lungs which they use to take in oxygen.

Because of this, you’ll likely find them spending their time near the top or middle of your aquarium so they can easily reach the surface when they need to take another breath.

The origin of the Dwarf Gourami is tooted in India, West Bengal, Assam, and Bangladesh. They are known to thrive in thick waters that are heavily vegetated with plant growth.

Theyare known to be found within the same environments with other Colisa species. Originating from India, West Bengal, Assam, and Bangladesh, they are native to thickly vegetated waters.


The average Dwarf Gourami size ranges approximately between 3.5 inches and 4.5 inches. This can vary based on a number of factors but for the most part, you can expect your fish to be within this range.

Dwarf Gourami Lifespan

When properly taken care of, Dwarf Gourami cave an expected lifespan of up to 4 years. Stress, poor diet, and subpar living conditions can significantly shrink this number. That’s why it’s so important to give them proper care.

What Are The Different Types Of Dwarf Gourami?

There are various different types of Dwarf Gourami you can choose from (with powder blue being one of the most popular). Each kind offers different unique and bright colors, which will really make your tank pop.

While there used to be a limited number of variations, over time their colors have branched out vastly, due to genetic mutations that happen with fish that are bred in aquarium settings.

The five most popular types of branches of dwarf Gourami include the following list below:

Powder Blue Dwarf Gourami

Why not start off with the most popular kind first? The powder blue Dwarf Gourami, just like the Blue Dwarf Gourami are known for their very bright and cast blue coloring. It might seem strange, but sometimes these types of gourami can have darker colors appear on their bodies.

We’re huge fans of the powder blue variation and highly recommend them to anyone who has a freshwater tank. 

Flame Dwarf Gourami

Flame Dwarfs Gourami have been a fan favorite for a long time. After their first introduction into their world, due to their color mutations that appeared on their bodies, a lot of interest in breeding them spiked into mass popularity.

This color type is what started the vast interest in breeding different variations of the dwarf gourami species. The stunning combination that they have served as understandable inspiration for breeders all over!

You can expect Flame Dwarf Gourami to be very bright with orange and red colors that transition very cleanly to their fins.

The Honey Dwarf

One thing we like about the honey Dwarf Gourami is the clean monochrome coloring. It’s a very eye-catching color that is fun to look at without going overboard.

On rare occasions, you might see a Honey Dwarf that has dark spots or patches on their noggins. For the most part, the color of their heads will be the same as their body.

This specific type of Dwarf Gourami have the most subtle coloring out of all the types. They are known to come in orange with mixed hues of red and their caudal fin is almost always colorless. 

Blue Dwarf Gourami

This Dwarf Gourami is popular for a lot of the same reasons the powder blue Dwarf Gourami is. Blue Dwarf Gourami are very bright and radiate blue more than any other color.

However, the blue Dwarf Gourami has larger scales than the other kinds we’ve listed, which is an easy way to tell them apart if you’re not used to the different color patterns yet.

Another way to tell them apart is that blue Dwarf Gourami have a tint of red and brown in lines that run along the sides and their fins. 

Neon Blue Dwarf Gourami

Last but not least are the Neon Blue Gourami. They are known for their beauty in blueish and dashing bright color and may also be seen to have stripes of red that run along their bodies. 

Neon blue dwarf gourami

These stripes are known to come in vibrant colors, and the fish overall is bright as can be. Their neon blue coloring is even bolder than the normal blue Dwarf Gourami.

What Are Some Good Dwarf Gourami Tank Mates?

Dwarf Gourami are known to have a very peaceful attitude when living with other fish. They thrive well in tanks that are not inviting of aggressiveness and that mostly contain similarly sized fish (or smaller), as long as they are compatible in their temperament and attitudes towards each other.

The most ideal tank mates for the Dwarf Gourami would be fish that dwell near the bottom of the tank. No-brainer Dwarf Gourami tankmates are plecos or other Gourami species.

Some other ideal tank mates include:

Putting Gourami in tanks with active fish can disturb them and also add stress and an unnecessarily aggressive competitive factor to their food situation.

Overall, adding other peaceful fish that aren’t very active and dwell near the bottom are the most compatible with Dwarf Gourami. Always make sure your Gourami friends have the right chemistry to avoid competition in the tank.

What Is Their Ideal Tank Setup?

Like with any fish, you’ll want to make sure that your tank meets the necessary requirements to house Dwarf Gourami. They can be easily stressed, and a suboptimal environment can very easily prevent them from thriving.

Tank Size

The minimum tank size for a Dwarf Gourami is 10 gallons (for up to 3 fish). If you have 4 or more fish then you’ll want to add an additional 5 gallons for each new fish.

Number Of Dwarf GouramiMinimum Tank Size
310 gallons
415 gallons
520 gallons
625 gallons
730 gallons

If you put them in a smaller tank, their waste will collect in a way that is too much for the filter system to handle. This can possibly cause a spike in ammonia in the tank which can be fatal to your fish.

To prevent an ammonia spike from fish waste, it is important to change 10-20 percent of the water every week so that the water is clean enough and your fish can live in an environment where they will be able to live out their life expectancies.

Keeping your tank at a temperature between 72 – 82°F (22 – 27°C) is necessary too.

Lastly, when setting up their habitat, adding plants and other explorative features such as rooted plants will help them thrive. Another good addition, specifically with breeding tanks is to add some floating plants that block intense light (as long as they can reach the surface to breath) and also provides a place for them to create their nests when they are in a breeding mood.

Keeping your tank’s PH between 6 and 7.5 is okay for a Gourami fish since they’re able to tolerate in both soft and hard water environments. Although be very careful not to go past the recommended PH ranges,

How To Breed Them

When breeding a Dwarf Gourami, you first have to decide if you want to breed them in the same tank as your main school of fish or in a completely separate tank.

The best idea is to use a separate tank, especially if your Dwarf Gourami have tank mates that might disrupt the breeding process.

When you’re breeding your fish, make sure you keep a close eye on the temperature of the water in the tank. Young fish are more affected by the shift in temperatures within water settings than the adult fish.

The amount of water you hold in the breeding tank should not go over 6 inches and stay around 4. The base of the tank can and should have a thin layer of an appropriate substrate (Sand is a common choice).

After six months, Dwarf Gourami are able to reproduce and the adult males will be ready to begin building their egg nests.

To begin the breeding process, you can condition your breeding pairs by feeding them live food such as worms. Make sure you do this in their breeding environment.

After you condition them, It will take awhile before the male begins building the nest. If you want to encourage this process, adjusting the temperature of the tank to 82.5-86°F should to the trick. Be sure you keep all factors consistent in the tank to have the best chance or breeding them successfully.

The nests that they build will be kind of like a foam (looks similar to saliva). Since this structure is not very solid it’s important to have a weaker flow within the tank setting as it will be less likely to destroy the nest that has been built at this stage.

After the nest is completed by the mature male, the females will release multiple eggs. The males will catch them and place them into the nests they have built. After the females have released all their eggs, they should be put back into the tank where you keep your main school of fish.

Within 25-30 hours after the eggs have been transferred by the males to the nest, the first larvae will start to develop and become apparent. These larvae will stay in the nest for a few days after they appear.

Once the fry start leaving the nest, place the male Gourami back into the main fish tank. Also, make sure fish food is a constant source within the breeding tank. It is appropriate to feed your fry infusoria in the first few weeks and afterward you can give them cyclops, daphnia or artemia as a food source.

Once the fry reach a healthy size of 0.6-0.8 inches, you can join them with the main tank.

Breeding Dwarf Gourami can be a very rewarding and unique experience if you make sure your conditions are right and keep your breeding tank in check as given in the information above.

What Food Do Dwarf Gourami Eat?

Choosing the right food is very important if you want your fish to be healthy and maintain bright and beautiful colors. Fortunately, Dwarf Gourami aren’t very picky eaters!

Dwarf Gourami in normal coloring

In their natural habitats, Dwarf Gourami eat small bugs and larvae that settle on the surface of the waters. They also eat bugs that settle on algae growth (and the algae growth itself). 

When in a tank environment they can eat fish and vegetation based flakes in tablet sizes, but also live foods as well. Always make sure when feeding your Dwarf Gourami that you are giving them the appropriate food for their species. If you want to keep them healthy in their tank environment you can occasionally give them livelier foods such as worms.

Dwarf Gourami Care 

We’ve already covered the basic principles of caring for Dwarf Gourami, but there are a few additional things you should know.

  • Let them get used to your tank. Dwarf Gourami are very shy and easily frightened/stressed fish. When you introduce them to your tank you’ll want to make sure that you give them their space. Once they’ve had time to adjust to the new environment they will begin acting normally.
  • Be mindful of your room temperature. When there is a significant different between how warm your room and tank water are, this can cause health problems for your fish. As we’ve said earlier, they’ll be swimming to the surface to breathe. If the temperature difference is too great, it could injure their little labyrinth organ!
  • Stay on top of your water quality. Dwarf Gourami are especially susceptible to various diseases and conditions associated with poor water quality. Among them are Dwarf Gourami iridovirus and Dwarf Gourami disease.


There’s a reason why Gourami are one of the most popular freshwater aquarium fishes out there right now.

Dwarf Gourami are a beautiful and enjoyable fish to keep in your aquarium. They liven things up, play well with others, and are fun to observe.

We hope that this care guide helps you ensure that your Dwarf Gourami live happy and healthy lives!

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